China, the world’s largest carbon emitter and energy consumer, will soon be working toward a revolutionary green building overhaul. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) will issue a green building code that requires existing buildings to meet mandatory new green building standards by 2013.
The first spec home in the Pacific Northwest to meet Passivhaus standards is in the Columbia Station green micro-community built by the award-winning design+build boutique firm, Dwell Development. Passivhaus is an energy standard that is more difficult to achieve than LEED with respect to energy efficiency. Homes that meet the Passivhaus standard must reach thermal comfort levels by postheating or postcooling fresh air without necessitating recirculation.
Located in the wooded hills of Vicenza, Italy, this zero-energy studio uses all sorts of creative design strategies to produce its own energy and insulation. Geothermal power, solar power, and a Corten steel shell are some of most prominent factors in energy generation, but it’s the 40,000 recycled plastic bottles making up the wall and roof insulation that really make this Tvzeb studio stand out.